Thursday, August 13, 2009

64-bit Genocide

While attending MAGFest last January, we had the pleasure of sitting next to 8-Bit Artist in the vendor area. We shot the breeze about a number of topics and he invited us to attend Bit Genocide; a video game concert and art show that he was involved in. It's taking place on August the 22nd at The Ottobar in Baltimore, MD. Come by, say Hi. We'll be waiting.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Tapestry/ Intarsia Crochet Success!

Even though the Tapestry crochet didn't seem to work out well in the round for the Inky Ghost Hat, it works out magnificently with pixels and squares.

Here is result of an 8-bit Cheep-Cheep completed with this method:

Not bad, eh? It took me about almost 4 hours (or 6-7 episodes of Lost-however you want to count it) to complete. Once you get the hang of it, it's not hard to do at all. The only problem is the back....

See what I mean. I finished this back in April. You see how far I've gotten with hiding the ends. It doesn't seem as bad as it looks, but this is after I've worked on hiding the loose ends over several days time. Take what you see here and spread it over to the top and bottom left and that's about what I started with. I couldn't do it all in one sitting-I tried and wanted to scratch my eyes out after a while. To me, it's like trying to read all of The Silmarillion in a day. It can be done, but who really wants to do it?

So as usual, there is always a down side to the easy stuff. If there was a way I could hide all of the ends with a yarn or cloth backing without the fear of the work unraveling, I would do it. But for now, it's back to the basics.

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My sorry attempt at cross stitch

A friend of mine asked me if I could do a cross stitch of an Emily the Strange picture for his girlfriend. And of course, my usual response is "Sure! - It shouldn't be too hard to do." I really need to stop saying that....

Anyway, here is the picture I was given to cross stitch:

And here is my cross stitch attempt: (Sorry it's a little blurry...)

I think I need a little more practice.... U_U

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So I fell off the face of the earth for a while....

....but I'm back in action now! :)

Yes, I know-I haven't been posting in months. But for those of you who don't know, I'm actually going back to school for a degree in Web Design and Computer Programming. So I've been a bit busy these past few months. But the 18 credit hellish semester is over (yay!) and I can finally get some precious, precious sleep (I love sleep...) and get my craft on! (w00t!)

I do want to show some love to Confusionbomb for keeping up with the blog for me while I was going crazy with the semester and for putting up with me while I was going crazy. Programming is not for the faint at heart, and he was there to hold me when I needed the break from the program that just wouldn't work. (And there were a lot of those this semester.)

In other news, shadowsinthenyte [dot] com is in the works. I'll actually be able to use all of the wonderful HTML to show off what I have in the store and other upcoming items in the future.

I'm also part of the Destructoid Artisans! I love Destructiod. Anyone who has not been to that site has not lived! Check out the other artists there and let them know Shadows sent ya!

And there is a massive backlog of posts I need to do, posts I've been meaning to do, posts I forgot about, posts I started doing and forgot about.....that will all be listed in the next month or so. I'm not making any promises though, but I will try. :)

In the meantime, I am off to craft! I have to do something while I wait for Punch-Out to be released! :3

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pickin' Cotton Yarn

Up until this summer, all of the hats we've made have been crafted with 100% acrylic yarn. Acrylic has some great things going for it; it's inexpensive, it's durable, it's plentiful, it's soft, it's warm, it comes in every color of the rainbow (and quite a few not), and it has no dye lots. Why use anything else? Summer hats. Acrylics great for cold weather, cool weather and climate control, but damn uncomfortable in the heat. So we decided to try some other yarn, and settled on cotton as being our best bet.

Our two local options were Lily Sugar n' Cream and some knock off Wal-Marx brand Peaches n' Cream. The latter had only a couple of colors available if the Wal-Mart carried it at all, so Lily ahoy. By combing our local craft big box trinity, Micheal's, Ben Franklin and Jo-Ann's, we found we had access to about 20 or so solid color yarns to work with. We picked up a couple of skeins and set out to work.

First off, when you think of 100% cotton, you're really thinking about cotton fabric or textiles; smooth, even and usually very comfortable. Cotton yarn feels very soft to the touch, but after it's crocheted the resulting cloth feels like something close to terrycloth. It's not an uncomfortable feel; just not as soft as acrylic and a fair trade for how much less insulating it is. The cotton hats are relatively comfortable in the summer sun, and would be a good choice for a crowded con.

Since we're working with a new material, we did some interwebs recon. The cotton yarn is dyed, and according to the Lily website, machine washable and machine dry able. We made some swatches to try it out. Here's the result:

The three top swatches were machine washed cold on gentle and machine dried as low as are dryer would go. The white swatch left us a nasty shock: the yarn was visibly pale green from the lime it absorbed from our well water. The orange and black swatches were fine out of the wash, but the orange swatch discolored irregularly in the dryer. Since we couldn't trust the house water, we made a second white and orange swatch. The second row of swatches were hand washed in distilled water then air dryed. This worked out very well as you can see.

We left a hank of orange yarn at the bottom so you could see the contrast with an unworked piece.

I think the cotton yarn will work well, even if it costs more and is a little finicky. We'll have to make a care guide to reflect that the piece need to be hand washed cold in distilled water and air dried out of the sun. I hesitate to think what hard water, water softener, briny water, city water or that god awful red clay silt I had to deal with in GA would do to the yarn. I guess it pays to do some research. Look for cotton yarn items in the store in the near future.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's like if Bill and Ted had a love child and she grew up to knit.

Yeah, it just might be that awesome. We got a convo on Friday from one Tanya, aka, Beatboxtaun, that she had featured our work in her site 8bitfix. Curious to see what her street cred was, we jumped over to her Etsy shop, and holy shite!

It's the scarf! No just any scarf, The Scarf! Lusted after by many, possessed by few, The Scarf is rumored to up your geek/gamer cred to Will Wright proportions! The Scarf acts like powerful magnet to the opposite sex; Hugh Hefner has issued standing orders that anyone possessing The Scarf is to be denied entrance to the Playboy Mansion. Any raid leader possessing The Scarf is said to be assured of victory, phat lewts and rare drops.

That being said, be sure to check out Tanya's site when you get a chance, and tell 'em The Don sent you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I, Crafticus...

So I know we just posted our supplies entry two months ago, but that picture was taken around early October. Once we took started stockpiling for our MAGfest lot, it quickly overran the storage we had set aside for the yarn. Today we found another set of cubes on clearance at Target and doubled our effective storage area. This is the result:

For those who're interested, the rightmost upper cube contains Lion Brand Suede yarn in about 6 colors, the rightmost middle cube contains Lion Brand Microspun yarn, and the rightmost bottom cube contains all our multicolor yarn. The other nine cubes are separated by color, but not by brand. The yarn across the top is all Carron One Pound. I'm hoping we don't out grow this, because the only place left to expand is across my dresser.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blue Slime Hat

So the Blue Slime hat has been in the works for about 8 months. The hat just wouldn't come together no matter what we tried. Here's the first shot:

Blue Slime Trial

Not even close. Put a peak on a beanie and you get...a beanie with a peak.
So after much, and I do mean much, trial and error we got an almost perfect blue slime. The pic just doesn't do it justice.

Here was the next try:

Blue Slime Plush

So he's looking good now. The problem? He's hollow in the center and stuffed with poly fill and takes upwards of 4 hours to make. If you wanted to wear him you'd need to make another beanie and sew it inside. And the hat would be huge! It's hard enough to scale the basic hats up and still have them look good, but now you'd need to scale up a plushie and a hat.

So after some pattern cropping and massaging, we came up with this:

Blue Slime Hat
Now that we've established a pattern that works (i.e. looks good and doesn't take bleeding forever to make) we're off! Palette swaps should be a breeze. Metal Slime here we come.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

MAGFest 7

We attended MAGFest 7 this year as vendors, which was quite the experience. We've gone to every MAGFest since #3 in as either guest or staff and had a blast at all of them. For those of you not in the know, MAGFest is a annual fan run video game convention in Alexandria, VA. It attracts some of the best and brightest of the video game cover/remix music scene, noted entertainment personalities, and even some record breaking events. This year was possibly the best yet for any number of reasons. We debuted two new models, sold about 40 hats, met tons of new people and even got some good pictures. I'm going to try to post every couple of days about something MAGFest related. If I'm lucky, I'll be done talking about it in a month or so. Peace out.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas To Us!

Nothing like a early Christmas present from unexpected quarters. The fine ladies of Sisters In Gaming saw fit discuss out modest enterprise during the Crafting Mama segment of their December 24th podcast which can be heard here. Nothing like free love and advertising to warm you on a cold winters night. If you get the chance, return that favor and check out their community. After all, it's hard being a woman in a boys world....unless you're out ganking newbs in Southshore. Lol, newbs.